Channel / 23 Jul 2020

Class of 2020

It’s that time of year when arts students across the UK would usually be preparing for their graduate exhibition to celebrate the completion of their studies. Despite everything that a global pandemic has thrown at them, both students and teaching staff alike have worked incredibly hard to create an online alternative in the absence of a physical exhibition. We thought we would take the opportunity to cast the spotlight on those who are graduating this Summer from undergraduate photography and arts courses in Wales. Congratulations to the next generation of photographers and artists in Wales - we can’t wait to see what you do next.

BA Photography (University of South Wales)

Every year the graduating students are tasked with designing and publishing their own publication, and this year is no exception. You can flick through the book on their website, where you’ll also be able to walk through their 3D virtual exhibition. Additional resources include a showreel, students’ bios and portfolios, texts and previous publications, so make sure you check it out.

USW BA Photography alumna and artist Alistair Farthing writes in the publication:

“The artists within this publication have spent the last three years defining their practice and positioning themselves as professionals. The adversity faced by these students in their final year of study is unparalleled, with Hole Punch serving as a testament of their resourcefulness and ability to work reactively and reflectively in extraordinary circumstances.”

Visit the exhibition here

Instagram: @uswphotography

BA Documentary Photography (University of South Wales)

Similarly, BA Documentary Photography at University of South Wales have also created a website to accommodate their graduate show titled ‘Mezzanine’. On the site you can visit students’ individual profiles, take a walk through their virtual exhibition, and flick through their graduate publication.

Course leader Paul Reas writes in the publication Mezzanine:

“In the 46th year of our course, it is my pleasure to introduce this publication showcasing the work of USW’s Documentary Photography’s graduating class of 2020. The publication comes at an unprecedented time for us all, and an important one in my view for what documentary and the arts more widely can offer. […]

The projects showcased here and online engage with a wide range of themes informed by their own experiences in society; considering topics including social class, gender and disability, environmental and geopolitical issues, loss and grief, confinement and psychology.“

Visit the exhibition here

Instagram: @docphotusw

BA Photography (Carmarthen School of Art, Coleg Sir Gar)

Staff at Carmarthen School of Art have created this ambitious virtual showcase to celebrate the achievements, creativity and innovation of final year students from all of their Art & Design courses. You can see a full range of disciplines within the 15,000 square feet of digital gallery space, including ceramics, digital illustration, sculpture and of course photography. You can even write in their online comments book.

Huw Alden Davies, Programme Director of BA Photography, writes in Golau:

“Among completing their final major project and producing some very successful bodies of work, each and every photographer has gone above and beyond. Creating their own photobooks, zines and promotional material, and in addition to this they have all pulled together to create what will be the very first edition of Golau. A biannual zine, or what we would like to call a bohemian journal which celebrates the work of all these photographers, their collaborations, and all that they have accomplished. In the face of a worldwide pandemic they rose to the challenge, and they prevailed, and Golau will always be a testament and symbol to this achievement.”

Visit the exhibition here

Instagram: @photo_csoa

Cardiff School of Art & Design (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

Cardiff School of Art & Design have created a website to accommodate what would be their usual Summer Show. The site features work from students across all disciplines, including Photography, Graphic Communication, Illustration and Fine Art. They also organised a number of events including the CSAD Creative Challenge, and artist talks which can be viewed on IGTV here:

Professor Olwen Moseley, Dean of Cardiff School of Art & Design writes:

“This year’s graduating cohort have gained our admiration for the way they have adapted and responded to create something different from the usual at very short notice. Not only have they gathered their work to share with us in a virtual degree show but they’ve also created a series of events to celebrate their achievements. I suppose this should not be surprising, as they have been learning in an environment which highly values adaptability, problem solving and creativity. They also have the support of an amazing team of staff who have also adapted and innovated.”

Visit the website here

Instagram: @cardiffmetcsad

Swansea College of Art (University of Wales Trinity St David)

In a similar vein, Swansea College of Art have produced this sleek website to showcase the various courses, providing each graduate with their own portfolio page. Make sure you head over to the photography courses’ Instagram page where students have recently been taking over the account to provide further insight into their final projects.

The website states in the Photography section:

“The shared ethos of both photography courses at SCA is pertinently embodied, as these nascent artists and activists confront and interrogate existing processes and systems in order to cultivate and shape new strategies for visual activism, documentary photography and photographic art.

In spite of the current restrictions, staff would like to congratulate the students for producing such engaging and provocative bodies of work, and to wish them all much success with their future endeavours.“

Visit the website here

Instagram: @ffoto_swansea